When we talk about SEO, usually all our focus goes to Google. But what about SEO for Bing or Yahoo? Is that something you need to miss out?! The short answer is no, and we’ll let you know why and how you can actually increase your rankings & get more traffic from Microsoft’s search engine, Bing.
With Google being so volatile, Bing seems a constant and valuable source of traffic with a rich source of data. Lots of people overlook it and miss a lot of audience and conversions.
Even though Bing is a good source of traffic, by no means am I suggesting that you should focus solely on Bing, but rather use it as an additional source because Google is still a strategic player.
Make a Strategy for Building Non-Spammy Links
Focus on Optimizing Your Content for Bing
Use Relevant Keywords in Proper Context
Tag Your Website
Optimize Your On-site SEO Elements
Claim & Optimize Your Business’ Bing Local Listing
The biggest restaurant isn’t the only choice in town. In searches, it is like every other place. For buying clothing or groceries you don’t go only to the big store, you also try the small shops, right? The same thing can happen when users look for something on the search engines; you might be surprised to find out that they have different options than you thought.
1. Understand that Bing Is a Major Source of Organic Traffic
Owning a 24.7% market share in US, Bing should be kept on sight. The latest report from Comscore Search on Explicit Core Search Share shows that Google still has the largest market share, but Bing comes right next after. Bing is owned by Microsoft and Yahoo was purchased by Verizon Media.
The interesting and best part of the Explicit Core Search is the fact that it excludes the contextual searches that do not reflect specific user intent to interact with the search results.
While Google owns almost 63% of the US market share, there still remains a significant percentage of 37 points. Moreover, you can easily see that the market share for Google dropped from January to February. In contrast, Bing and Yahoo have increased their market share up to 0.2 points.
Even though you’re a veggie, you should study the next “burger situation”. It’s not “cheesy” at all.
With that in mind, would you be willing to lose almost 25% of traffic, which may be generating conversions and leads? My guess is you would not. If we were to put Yahoo in the same basket, you’d have a total of 36.4% of potential traffic.
Yahoo’s index depends on Microsoft for 51% of its search results and ads.
So, it should be taken into account. If you optimize for Bing, automatically you’ll optimize for Yahoo, too, in a smaller percentage though. And you’ll have a higher chance to get traffic for Yahoo. It will be like killing two birds with one stone.
For the rest of 49% listings and ads, Yahoo uses Google to provide for some of the desktop search queries where it doesn’t have to use Microsoft. And that covers the whole search for Yahoo. Let’s put it this way: you’d be covered on all major search engines.
2. Find out How Bing Converts Better than Google
Bing can bring a lot of traffic due to the fact that users spend more time on site, visit more pages, subscribe more to newsletters and so on. Bing can face lower competition than Google since a significant number of businesses are targeting the latter. Lots of experts tested Bing and there are many case studies on this topic.
Matthew Woodward, expert and award-winning internet marketer, did a case study on the matter and saw that Bing traffic is quite significant. If you take a look at the screenshot below, you can see that Bing traffic is almost the same as Google traffic. On top of that, he also experienced a lower bounce rate for Bing users and more clicks for affiliate links.
Another case study by Tony Edward, Senior SEO Manager at Elite SEM, shows that Bing is the second-highest source of traffic after Google by checking Q1 2016 performance year over year. Below you can see the screenshot with his findings.
Bing can get you a larger audience and more targeted web traffic than you will see on Google. Take the following situation, for example. Masha Maksimava, VP Product & Marketing at Awario, saw that Bing traffic generally has a better conversion rate than that from Google. After a deeper analysis made for one of their websites, in Google Analytics she could see that Bing traffic had a conversion rate of 19.66% and Google traffic only 16.47%. Below is a screenshot with the results.
Did You Know
Bing is much more transparent than Google when it comes to ranking factors. Also, many optimization steps meant for Google also fit into the Bing world.
You should start tracking your SERP positions on Bing for all the keywords that matter for you.
Tracking your rankings on Bing might not be a popular choice, but it’s for sure a must SEO task. You can easily and accurately track your Bing rankings with cognitiveSEO’s Rank Tracker. This way, you’ll get an overview of your position on the Bing market, and you’ll have a great starting point for your SEO strategy.
3. How to Optimize Your Website for Bing
3.1 Make a Strategy for Building Non-Spammy Links
Links are a trust signal in Bing’s eyes as well, so getting links is a good way to gain popularity. Bing supports the idea of quantity, so the more links you have, the more authority you’ll get. Websites that link to you mean that your content is good, and send signals to the search engines that your website should be trusted. But that doesn’t mean quality should be ignored. Both quality and quantity are important in this case.
Bing rewards links that have grown organically, that is, that have been added over time by content creators on other trusted, relevant websites made to drive real users from their site to your site.
Bing Webmaster Guidelines
Bing encourages websites to build links while respecting the Bing Webmaster Guidelines. Abusive tactics for getting spammy links, such as links buying, participating in link schemes (link farms, link spamming and excessive link manipulation) can exclude your website from Bing’s index.
When deciding on the right strategy and the steps for building links on Bing focus more on the following tactics:
target high authority domains and well-established sites to build links.
links on .gov, .edu, and .org domains weigh more.
select older domains, because Bing places greater emphasis on domain age.
drive social media links. According to a Searchmetrics, social signals have a strong correlation with better rankings in Bing.
set a limit of 20 backlinks a month.
use keywords as anchor texts.
Even though Bing’s ranking factors are different and acquiring links can be done easily, we shouldn’t forget that every change we make can influence the rankings on the other search engines. That’s why creating link-worthy content is the best type of link building. Which points us to another way to optimize your website for Bing.
3.2 Focus on Optimizing Your Content for Bing
When we talk about optimized content for Bing, we talk about quality. The gold rule is that you provide clean, free-of ads content to have a chance to get indexed and Bing shows your website in search results. Don’t block your main content, avoid having spammy poping ads and just make your content easy to find.
Another important metric or information that you need to keep in mind and follow rigorously is the length of blog posts. A research on content length from Buffer shows that each blog post should have approximately 1,600 words of quality content to maximize your chances to rank on Bing and Yahoo.
The average total seconds rises for longer posts, peaks at 7 minutes, and then declines.
Fresh and unique content makes Bing crawlers love your website even more so make sure you have a content marketing plan that allows you to publish articles regularly.
3.3 Use Relevant Keywords in Proper Context
Bing recommends content writers to use relevant keywords and perform quality keyword research for every piece of content. Numerous studies on the topic showed that using relevant keywords is an important search ranking factor in SERP, including Bing.
Same as in Google, relevant and contextual keywords are vital in Bing. Below you can see a comparison between Google and Bing when it comes to keywords:
Add proximity keywords in your post, if possible. They can increase your chances to get traffic for local SEO. Keywords are extracted from context. Make sure you don’t get spammy.
3.4 Tag Your Website
Using tags and categories is your key for getting your website discovered and indexed by any search engine. There are a lot of content management systems, like WordPress, that allow you to easily manage tags and categories on your website.
By tagging your content you let Bing crawlers, as well as manual or robotic Bing algorithms know what to expect from the post and what it is about. More than that, similar blog posts can be tagged using similar words and placed automatically in the same category.
Tags and categories also improve user experience by allowing visitors to quickly find the content they’re searching for and make it easier for you to manage all of your website content
Some of the studies made along the years show that 5% of the visitors are referred to by tag pages listed in search engines, out of the 250,000 unique visitors per month. That is something! You can attract even a slight slice of that audience if you grasp the category and tagging opportunity when blogging.
3.5 Optimize Your On-Site SEO Elements
On-site SEO should be the top priority for any webmaster and it is even more important than off-site SEO for Bing. Two of the most important elements of on-site are internal links and sitemap.
The easiest way to find out if your site has any on-site issues is to use a Site Audit tool. This way, you’ll find out all your website’s issues, prioritized by importance and you’ll also get recommendations on how to fix them.
Having a good linking architecture and adding XML Sitemaps can increase your search traffic from Bing, and not only. An experiment made by NinjaOutreach helped them boost their organic traffic by 40% with clever use of internal links. They started doing internal linking from the pages that were doing well to the lowest-performing pages.
If you fix your website’s errors, you can get about 1k visits from organic search each month, just like Greg Kristan from TM Blast. After fixing and optimizing the on-site elements, he got about 30% of my organic clicks from Bing.
3.6 Claim & Optimize Your Business’ Bing Local Listing
Every business owner wants more and more visitors, on the website, at the store, on the social platform, generating engagement and on every possible platform where the brand is available.
When we’re talking about optimization for local SEO, you need to visit Bing Places for Business and claim ownership for your business listing. Once you go to the site, you can follow the same steps as in Google My Business, and import the data or add your business information from scratch.
Local content that is optimized correctly can bring online purchases. A research on “Local Search Unleashing Opportunities for National Advertisers” by IDC and YP showed that:
Nearly half (49%) of consumers looking locally for national products and services conducted four or more search activities, and nearly one in four (24%) did six or more.
The information needs to be on sight and that’s because, according to the same study, people are taking the decision to buy in less than an hour. 63% of the survey respondents completed their searches in under an hour.
On top of that, more and more users are using not just one device, but several of them. Which, in terms of local SEO, can trigger lots of benefits if you have your business listed on Bing places. It will be easier to find your website since all the local results are above Bing search results.
For more exposure, use local listings such as Yelp, Foursquare to help Bing locate and index your website correctly.
Bing is a rich source of data and you should not overlook it. Otherwise, you’ll be losing almost 25% of new incoming traffic and potential clients. You can use it as an additional source of traffic to what you’re already targeting. And if you’re still not convinced, here are some more good reasons to start doing SEO for Bing.
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